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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Jun 13, 2007 11:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Key to the sound

Very well conceived. One thing additional to note through the timeline is the continuos decline of quality songwriting. IMHO the peak of songwriting creativity came around Wake Of The Flood, in terms of both lyrical and musical depth of content. This is an arguable point as some of the best war horses came out of Mars Hotel, Blues For Allah, and Terrapin. Nevertheless, It can't be overlooked that WOTF had more strength from front to back than any that followed. (I thought it a pussy record at the time it was released and only a revisionist perspective allows for my updated point of view...like most.)

The point here being that Keith had the bread and butter job of fitting the instrument to a better quality of songwriting than those that followed. Unfortunately, Brent's job required him to "cover" the majority of the bands previous material, bring a fresh approach, and try to make a statement through new songs. His technique and choice of instruments and tones clearly challenged Garcia from a sonic perspective. Weir really went the other way, and took less of a leadership role in the band, moving most of his licks further up the neck of the guitar into much higher frequencies. (see both Weir & Garcia interviews from Guitar Player Magazine.)

Like many others, I find the Europe 72 to be the quality standard of live play for the band. Part of the reason is that both Keith and Pig played at the same time. Although clearly mixed as a guitar band throughout the tour, there is some fine B3 and grand piano backing to be heard if you focus on it. (I'd like to hear a re-mix of the 16 track tapes that bring the keys more up front.)

Like it or not, the combination of key players and the strength of the songwriting become the primary elements in the critical analysis of the band and it's defining eras.


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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jun 13, 2007 2:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Key to the sound

I could not agree more. Wake of the Flood is the last consistently well written l.p.

Apropos of the earlier thread--what is your first name?

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: Jun 14, 2007 6:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Key to the sound

Not Blues for Allah?!?

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jun 14, 2007 8:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Key to the sound

Nope--I like Blues--but for actual songwriting, I think Wake was the last great collection of songs.

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Poster: spacedface Date: Jun 14, 2007 12:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Key to the sound

Some of Brent's sounds early on didn't fit into the GD sound, but he dropped those. To me Vince's sound was very odd, but he may have not even chosen them since it seems that Bob Bralove could override his choice from behind the scenes.